Women's Own 1954 Issue Tells Ladies 'How To Behave In A Restaurant'

We're Eating Dinner All Wrong According This 1950s How-To

Thanks to a recently unearthed 1970 issue of Cosmo, women now have a thorough guide of "things to do with your hands that men like." But this tells us nothing of how to behave properly in a restaurant. We'll have to go back another two decades for that.

A 1954 issue of Women's Own offers a detailed list of do's and don'ts for women to heed when dining in public.


"How to behave in a restaurant" is a godsend for those of us who dare leave the table before wiping "lipstick marks" off of our cups. Lest we consider combing our hair at the dinner table, thank goodness Women's Own was there to remind us what a truly "unforgivable" sin it is.

While some of these tips -- like, "The man always does the ordering, never ask the waiter yourself for anything" -- are familiar relics of the past, others seem completely unreasonable for any era. Namely, the command that we eat apples and pears with a knife and fork. Sure -- but only if they're smothered in sugar and buried in a pie crust.

According to Women's Own, food itself holds serious potential for disaster. The guide offers bizarre warnings against certain items: Fish is "difficult to manage" and fruit "causes some embarrassment." Soup seems like far more trouble than it's worth as tipping the bowl towards you is "the height of bad manners," according to the lady mag.


So ladies, when you reap the feminist triumph that is eating an apple with your hands, remember the women before you who toiled away with a knife and fork. And perhaps more tragically, who apparently only ate apples and pears for dessert.

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